Olympus SP-500 UZ review
This Camera Rocks!! I am producing professional quality images in less time at 20% the cost investment of an SLR with preview. This is one of the few “SLR like” cameras with an option for direct PC control over all the capture features. Shutter, Aperture, ISO, Exposure, Optical Zoom, Flash, White balance, File transfer etc. This is achieved via Olympus Software Development Kit – SDK applications, there are quite a few, I purchased one called Cam2Com by Sabsilk for $30 the best money I have spent in years. (Do a search of the net to find this) This was an answer to prayer!!
This software turns this feature packed camera into a studio operator’s best friend. If you are doing any sort of catalogue or time laps shots and want quality value for money get this machine. One of the added features is the ability to directly save images onto the PC after each shot and fire up an application to process that image while you continue shooting!! .
One of the tricks, not in the manual and not known by many of the Olympus dealers is the sequence to put the camera into “PC Control” mode. Check this out - Open the media door hold “Menu OK” and “Quick View” buttons, then select PC control, close the media door (who would think of that) then connect the camera via USB2 to the PC running Cam2Com and your away. (you’ll need to check that your camera is running the latest firmware up date version 1.1 or higher) You can even save your settings on the PC for all your different set-ups.
If you thought you were getting a sharp focus before try out the bracketed manual focus selection option which allows you to choose the best shot from a selection of focal ranges – magic!! You can even shoot multipul cameras at the same time. The software is not perfect, there are a couple of areas that need improving, 1. the on screen preview needs to have a size option to suit the newer LCD resolutions, as well as the choice of landscape or portrait, 2. the focal range figure needs to be recorded with the image. There are so many other good features about this camera that are already listed in other reviews but the PC control software has won me … Yes I was so impressed I have purchased my second SP-500UZ
None that bother me yet, but as we will continue to push this camera towards its reliability limits with the amount of shots we do I'll let you know.